Aug 24, 2019
Updated today, ANC is as good as useless now.
Bose lost me as a customer, won't be buying another product again. Switching brands.
This is incompetence or malevolence.
As said before, ‘upgraded’ to 3.1.8 (tried the 2.5 as well, but that version gave issues using the Bose app). Compared it to the Sony 2 and 3 and not upgraded Bose QC35 ii as well. NC is on par, so downgrading actually works. Yes, you hear some voices, but you hear that on the other ones as well. It was an improvement to the 4.5.2 so I’d suggest anyone to go for it. Downgrade them, reset and clear connections to start over again. Give it a week or two and you’ll be happpy ! 🙂
Aug 23, 2019
I did the downgrade? from 4.1.3 to 3.1.8 and I can't hear any difference. Seems like my headphones were good to beginn with.
I don't see the point. Why take a risk for nothing to gain? And I doubt that Bose will do much development work for the 35ii in the future. The 700 are the flagship now.
What do you mean with "give it a week or two and you’ll be happpy"?
What do you mean with "give it a week or two and you’ll be happpy"?
I have the feeling they improve over time. Can be placebo, or if they build in some machine learning or that it’s due to the power recycling of the battery.
It’s just my feeling. Perhaps just try?
next, I had no issues on the 4.1.3 as well, but that one is not available as the 3.1.8 is. Only had problems on 4.5.2. Heard more noice as if high anc performed the same as medium. Also heard no clear difference between the two settings.
So so to my opinion 4.5.2 is clearly broken. Also confirmed by various testers on YouTube. Since I can’t go to 4.1.3, and the 2.5 don’t work well using the Bose app. I’d stick to 3.1.8. For now the best option to anyone who is not happy using 4.5.2.
by the way, I’m running the AE series, so all the augmented reality rubbish is of no use to my headphones. (And I actually don’t want it, since I use them at my work and during commute. Not for gaming or demos)
Aug 12, 2019
After downgrading to 3.1.8 I noticed that ANC slightly improved (still not as good as it used to be).
BUT after changing from high to low and back again to high, it got worse again.
Very disappointing....Will never buy Bose again.
Hey I’m going to let you know a secret of the main reason companies created firmware updates on there products and the main reason is to be able to take down the good performance of the current product like the one you owned and make people buy their newly released product that has come out in the stores this happens every time if you buy a product and want it for keeps you need to stay away from the firmware updates
You want to know the reason Bose made this firmware update? The main reason of the update is to screw of with the good performance of the QC 35 II for people to run into the store and buy the newly released product they got and that’s the Bose headphones 700 stay away from updates if you want the products to keep there performance you lose and they win if you upgrade their firmware
ok did a test between an older headset on FW 3.1.8 and my new one which i have upgraded to 4.5.2
they both behave the same
furthermore the new one on 4.5.2 does a tiny better job at filtering out music then the 3.1.8 one does
so for me the latest FW is better...
gonna upgrade the 3.1.8 also and let you know the outcome...
Aug 13, 2019
Interesting discussion! I have an extensive experience in audio engineering and psychology of audio/sound perception, and i've been following this thread with great interest. Owning a Bose CQ35ii with stock firmware 4.1.3 and the new AZ hardware, but having experienced original Bose ANC several years ago, I came to the following personal conclusions:
- people expect magic from ANC, so they get desillusioned when they still can hear things coming through. ANC is a hard problem, with regular portable compute power it can filter out repeating noise patterns in the lower to mid frequencies. Higher frequencies are much more complex, and spiky sounds are also almost impossible. This means that effectively rumble and noise can be filtered, but not voices and other "spiky/ad-hoc" mid to high sounds. This is the case with all ANC processors. Acoustic filtering with over-ear cups helps of course to dampen other sounds, and the relative loudness and frequency-spectrum of music playing on the headphones to mask the external sounds.
- i suspect people also get used to a certain performance of ANC, and expect a firmware update to behave in a certain way that corresponds with their initial expectations they have in memory. Luckily we also have measured changes in ANC performances, but these are not as big impact as one could believe when reading some reports. So psychology also comes into this discussion, as with all audio quality discussions at some point LOL 😉
- when the ANC algorithm is activated, the mics need to be active, and this generates a slight white-noise when not being masked by playing audio, either from mics or the algorithm working. Some ears/brains cannot hear this white noise, some can (I know i do), so it's depending on the sensitivity and hearing quality of the reporter if white noise is reported as an issue.
- on the newer firmwares, the Low ANC setting is mainly tuned to filter out wind-noises, not so much to decrease noise-filtering. This works perfect when f.e. walking, running or biking, where in High mode you hear artifacts and noises, and in Low mode you don't hear these anymore.
- i guess that due to complaints about uncomfortable "cabin pressure" effects that ANC can create when having full isolation (like anechoic chambers) the Bose engineers tried to reduce this effect, I suspect that the increased white noise might have something to do with it, as reducing some frequencies with a few dB when activating ANC. Maybe in the future this could be an advanced toggle to turn "high cabin pressure" on or off so people can decide for themselves what they prefer.
- The app and the firmware update process are flaky, they seem to try to be some "unified" management app for all kinds of devices and versions of devices, but the proces of connecting and updating is very flaky and error-prone. This might also have something to do with the fact that the hardware in the headphones has been updated transparantly (from AE to AZ S/N's). Maybe the firmware tries to handle the AE and the AZ series the same, but the hardware is working slightly differently, maybe the firmware update process works differently etc. Effectively it seems plausible that some updates go wrong, and the headphones stay stuck in some flawed config where the app reports a different firmware than the web-based updater.
All in all i'm happy with my (non-updated) phones, but i would prefer a little more filtering and more cabin-pressure effect as a pay-off. Also the white-noise could be less, but is not bothering me because I play music that masks it. I also would hope that Bose would improve their App, and how the software and the hardware work together, to make updating or downgrading firmware much easier and consistent, and give users the choice. Also Bose should make sure that it's clear what kind of hardeware-generations are effected, and make sure that firmware and hardware are tuned to eachother.